I Was Gonna Cancel

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"I Was Gonna Cancel"
I Was Gonna Cancel.png
Single by Kylie Minogue
from the album Kiss Me Once
Released 22 April 2014[1]
Recorded Los Angeles, California
Length 3:34
Label Parlophone
Songwriter(s) Pharrell Williams
Producer(s) Pharrell Williams
Kylie Minogue singles chronology
"I Was Gonna Cancel"
"I Was Gonna Cancel"

"I Was Gonna Cancel" is a song by Australian recording artist Kylie Minogue, released as the second and final single from her twelfth studio album Kiss Me Once. The track was written and produced by American recording artist, songwriter and producer Pharrell Williams who she met while in Los Angeles, California. It was released in the United Kingdom on 11 May 2014 and a day later in the United States.

Musically, the song is influenced by disco and funk, which noted similarities from William's previous work and Daft Punk. Lyrically, the song was based on Minogue's conception of having a bad day. "I Was Gonna Cancel" received positive reviews from music critics, many recognizing it as the more "interesting" song on the record and praised Williams' production.


Following the release of The Abbey Road Sessions (2012), Minogue split ways with her long-term manager, Terry Blamey and signed a new management deal with rapper Jay-Z's imprint Roc Nation.[2][3][4] Following this new deal, Minogue continued work on her twelfth studio album throughout 2013, with reports emerging in February 2013 that Minogue had been working with singer-songwriter Sia Furler.[5] In an interview with Billboard, Minogue expressed that she had an epiphany during her "Kylie 25" campaign in 2012, stating, "I felt like I needed a new landscape, and once you've got your feet on the ground you're raring to go. [...] So far the support has been great, and it's just another part of this amalgamation of 'new' that I had wished for and was struck by."[6]


American singer and producer Pharrell Williams wrote and produced the song

During the recording process of Kiss Me Once, Roc Nation contacted Pharrell Williams to co-produce with Minogue. Eventually, Minogue had met Williams in Los Angeles, California to produce music with her.[7] According to Minogue, she revealed that she had two days to produce only two songs with Williams, these being "I Was Gonna Cancel" and "The Winners" and stated that the first day she met him she started crying due to an overwhelming day. In an interview with Standard.co.uk, she said;

"It was a dream come true because I've wanted to work with him for a long time. I had two days with him and did two songs, one of which is on my album and it's called I Was Gonna Cancel - because I was having the worst day. Everything was too much. So my second day going in I was literally talking to myself saying, 'Keep it together, this is a very important day, it's Pharrell.' And I burst into tears as soon as I got there. That's why he wrote 'I Was Gonna Cancel' as I didn't feel like going, but had to."[8]

In an aftermath interview, she said about her collaboration: "I had two days in the studio with Pharrell, which was a dream come true. On the second day, I was having a bad day and was thinking of cancelling [...] He turned my bad day into something amazing by writing the song... but I was patchy and didn't sing very well. It was honest and embarrassing."[9]


Musically, "I Was Gonna Cancel" is a funk and disco inspired song. Tim Sendra said that the song is "a heartwarming affirmation of how awesome she is that sounds like a continuation of his work with Daft Punk on "Get Lucky".[10] Ryan Lathan said "squelchy Stevie-Wonderesque electric keyboard flourishes, and overly-processed, pseudo-operatic background vocals, there's little here in this R&B-electro brew, worth throwing back or bothering to revisit. It should have been relegated to a single B-side and replaced with last year's superior 'Skirt'."[11] Ben Cardew from NME had also compared the song to Daft Punk's single "Get Lucky", calling it "disco-ish."[12] Andy Gill declared "I Was Gonna Cancel" as a "typically light, frothy pop syllabub in Pharrell's signature style[;] It sprinkles chimes over staccato synth burbles that hark back to The Commodores."[13]

Critical reception[edit]

"I Was Gonna Cancel" received favorable reviews from most music critics. Tim Sendra from Allmusic highlighted the song as an album standout, labeling it as "amazingly catchy."[10] Brittany Spanos from Spin said the song was familiar but "refreshed disco territory with 'I Was Gonna Cancel', a Pharrell track that carries some serious "Get Lucky" vibes thanks to a Chic-inspired bass line underpinning a pulsating house beat."[14] Kitty Empire from The Observer felt the song was a "perfect fit" for Minogue and called Williams' a "pro", saying that "I Was Gonna Cancel" brings the best out of Pharrell Williams' aerated funk-pop and slots in Kylie's effortless disco vocal."[15]

Joe Muggs from Fact magazine was less impressed, saying "the fidgety 'I was Gonna Cancel', with its scampering clavinet funk, Gloria Estefan-tinged song and whizzy trance chords and it's clear that this stuff hasn't just been picked off the peg."[16] Ryan Lathan was less impressed as well, saying "Pharrell was recruited to liven up the proceedings, but his work on Madonna's Hard Candy was more inspired six years ago." He also criticized the lyrical content by saying "The song isn't particularly cutting edge and lyrical gems such as "everything is clearer, than a mirror is to woman, just as safe as a dog is to man", only serve as fodder for critical mocking."[11] A reviewer from the publication musicOMH said "the similarly ubiquitous Pharrell Williams fares better with I Was Gonna Cancel, the kind of effortlessly catchy dance floor filler he specialises in, though the bizarre borrowing of the hook from Beyoncé's 'Green Light' only serves to remind that there are artists who are currently doing this much better." Pop Reviewer was less favorable, giving the single a 2 star rating stating "There is no essence of classic Kylie to be found here, just an abundance of emotionless singing" [17]

Music video[edit]

Prior to releasing the music video for "I Was Gonna Cancel" Minogue released a lyrics video which has garnered over 420,000 views on YouTube.

The accompanying music video was shot by Dimitri Basil and choreographed by Rafael Bonachela in Melbourne, Australia while Minogue was attending the Logie Awards of 2014. The video was released on 17 May on her YouTube channel.[18] Originally, the plans were to include many people into the video so they can dance and play along to the song, but were not to be paid for this. This courted controversy through media industries, criticizing the choice to not pay the dancers. Some reports said that dome dancers were then offered for their work after the producers received complaints about the lack of pay. Bonachela eventually told publications that he was pleased that they were going to be paid, stating "I understand things have been resolved now so it's great to know that people can have a voice, people can speak and mistakes can be resolved. That's a very positive thing," [19]

According to Minogue, the synopsis is about pedestrian life and how it was similar to the day she recorded the song; "It's an abstract look at pedestrian life and how we're all just trying to get through and rise above everyday challenges. Although the song talks about a real life event that happened the day I recorded the song with Pharrell, the video has a more conceptual approach and I love how surreal it looks."

The music video has 1.3 million views on Minogue's official YouTube channel [20]


Critical reaction towards the video has been mixed. Michael Wass from website Idolator wrote: "Kylie Minogue has delivered some of the most memorable and innovative videos in the history of popular music but "I Was Gonna Cancel" is not one of them." [21] Mandi Salerno from PopCrush called the video concept "simple" and that even though the song was no "Sexercize", it was very interesting and thoughtful, referring to the concept as "funky."[22] However, Daniel Welsh from The Huffington Post was less positive, believing that although the song was appealing, he felt Minogue didn't stand out from the crowd "literally."[23]

Live performances[edit]

In April 2014, Minogue performed "I Was Gonna Cancel" at the Logie Awards of 2014.[24] In May 2014, she performed the song on The Voice of Italy, Alan Carr: Chatty Man and in Cannes for Le Grand Journal (Canal+).[25] Minogue also performed the single on The Voice: la plus belle voix along with "Into the Blue", "All the Lovers" and "Can't Get You Out of My Head" with the finalists in April 2014.

In other media[edit]

In the third episode of the seventh season of RuPaul's Drag Race, Jasmine Masters and Kennedy Davenport lip synched "I Was Gonna Cancel" to get the next round of the show. Kennedy Davenport was allowed to stay, while Jasmine Masters was eliminated from the competition.

Chart performance[edit]

In the United Kingdom, "I Was Gonna Cancel" debuted at fifty-nine selling 3,989 copies. The next week the song fell out of the top 100. The song is one of Minogue's lowest chart performances since that of previous singles "Put Your Hands Up" and "Flower". In Wallonia the song debuted at forty-one before eventually peaking at twenty-five. In the US, the song peaked at number five on the Hot Dance Club Songs.

Formats and track listings[edit]


Chart (2014) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[26] 25
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[27] 84
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[28] 59
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[29] 5

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Australia[30] 22 April 2014 Digital download Warner Music Australasia
New Zealand[31]
Italy[32] 5 May 2014 Contemporary hit radio Warner Music
United Kingdom[33] 9 May 2014 Digital download (Remix EP) Parlophone
United States[34] Warner Bros.
Australia[35] 16 May 2014 Warner Music Australasia


  1. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/i-was-gonna-cancel-single/id864845846
  2. ^ Daniels, Colin (13 January 2013). "Kylie Minogue denies plan to quit pop music". Digital Spy. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Kylie Minogue takes music break after split with manager Terry Blamey". Herald Sun. 14 January 2013. 
  4. ^ O'Mance, Brad (6 February 2013). "Kylie (Minogue) has signed a deal with Roc Nation". Popjustice. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Corner, Lewis (22 February 2013). "Kylie Minogue working with Sia for new album?". Digital Spy. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  6. ^ Hampp, Andrew (28 February 2014). "Kylie Minogue's Comeback 'Kiss': Pop Star Finds New Life with Sia, Pharrell & Roc Nation". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Recording details from inner notes of Kiss Me Once.
  8. ^ "Kylie Minogue: Pharrell Williams made me cry". standard.co.uk. 21 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Kylie Minogue on Pharrell Williams". Times of Matla. 26 March 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Kiss Me Once - Kylie Minogue". Allmusic. Allmusic. 17 March 2014. 
  11. ^ a b http://www.popmatters.com/review/180030-kylie-minogue-kiss-me-once/
  12. ^ http://www.nme.com/reviews/kylie-minogue--2/15152
  13. ^ "Kylie, Kiss Me Once, album review: Pharrell Williams rescues on sexed-up record". The Independent. 14 March 2014. 
  14. ^ http://www.spin.com/reviews/kylie-minogue-kiss-me-once/
  15. ^ "Kiss Me Once Review - Kylie Minogue". The Observer. 7 April 2014. 
  16. ^ http://www.factmag.com/2014/03/20/kiss-me-once/
  17. ^ http://popreviewer.com/#home
  18. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6g0c9mv0j9E
  19. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/dance/kylie-minogues-choreographer-says-not-paying-dancers-a-mistake-20140501-37iun.html
  20. ^ https://www.youtube.com/user/kylieminogue
  21. ^ http://www.idolator.com/7518635/kylie-minogue-i-was-gonna-cancel-video
  22. ^ http://popcrush.com/kylie-minogue-i-was-gonna-cancel-video/
  23. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/05/17/kylie-minogue-i-was-gonna-cancel-music-video_n_5342127.html
  24. ^ "Kylie Minogue defends her critically-panned Logies performance and insists she was singing live". 18 April 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  25. ^ Kilby, Penelope (7 May 2014). "Keeping it raunchy! Age defying Kylie Minogue makes debut on The Voice Italy in skin tight PVC skirt and bondage style top". Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  26. ^ "Ultratop.be – Kylie Minogue – I Was Gonna Cancel" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  27. ^ "Archive Chart: 18 May 2014". Scottish Singles Top 40. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  28. ^ "Kylie Minogue: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  29. ^ "Kylie Minogue – Chart history" Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs for Kylie Minogue. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  30. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/i-was-gonna-cancel/id864845846?i=864845861
  31. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/nz/album/i-was-gonna-cancel/id864845846?i=864845861
  32. ^ http://radioairplay.fm/radio-date/KYLIE-MINOGUE---I-Was-Gonna-Cancel-62194-05-05-2014
  33. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/i-was-gonna-cancel-remixes-ep/id871155474
  34. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/i-was-gonna-cancel-remixes-ep/id871155474
  35. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/i-was-gonna-cancel-remixes-ep/id879234396